The United States is a nation where both incredible wealth and incredible poverty co-exist. Some people easily find work and get promotions, others spend years unemployed. Some make a lot of money, while others live under the weight of consistent, multigenerational poverty. Many people of color face economic disparities due to systemic inequities that have been present since the beginning of our country, but how, exactly, did these disparities all begin?

The legacy of racism in the United States is multifaceted. It touches every community across all backgrounds and cultures, albeit in unique ways. The history presented here is by no means exhaustive, rather it represents several turning points that created the present realities faced by all people living in the U.S. today.

Explore Inspiring Stories of Racial Healing

  • Building an inclusive economy in New Orleans means seeing all community members as assets and bringing all community members together to identify needs and solutions. 
  • Learn how equal pay for Black women in Mississippi would reduce poverty by half across the state.
  • In Battle Creek, Michigan, Neighborhood Employment Hubs provide lessons for workforce development in Battle Creek

Take Action Today

  • Are you in a position to hire people? Think about how your own biases affect who you hire and how you evaluate your employees.
  • Support racial healing in your workplace. Download the Action Kit for engaging in a professional setting.
  • Explore WKKF’s Expanding Equity resources for case studies and guidebooks on creating cultures of belonging in the workplace.